Damage Reports Needed for FEMA Aid

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“It hurts to come in here.””

Maranda Melancon

Hurricane barry damaged hundreds of homes across Acadiana.

Many of the people whose lives have been changed for the worse are asking when financial help will head their way.

“Prepare yourself because it smells bad back here,” Maranda Melancon told me as I entered her former home along the Delcambre Canal

Melancon is trying her best to find help after Hurricane Barry brought knee-deep flooding to her rented house, destroying some of the floors and growing mold on all the walls.

Everything in the single mother of three’s dream home has to be thrown away.

“I pushed and pushed and pushed to get everything we needed and have everything we needed and it’s all gone,” Melancon explained. “Within an hour its all gone”.

Melancon is one of 392 people as of Thursday afternoon who have reported damage to Iberia Parish Emergency Management. Prescott Marshall the department director says they need your help to qualify for FEMA aid.

“We don’t have federal assistance we can offer right now,” Marshall cautioned. “There’s no state or parish funding available. So we’re really waiting to see if the federal government says our damages to individual homes are bad enough that the federal government will provide federal assistance to homeowners.”

Director Marshall is linking people up to nonprofits for now, but encourages everyone to apply by phone through calling 337-492-5451 or online for assistance soon.

“We would ask people to call in if they haven’t already to call in or go to the parish’s home page under the news section as quickly as they can,” Marshall urged. He says a report could be given to FEMA as early as next week, and he wants the clearest picture, so people like Melancon can qualify for individual assistance grants.

Even though Melancon has turned to countless places, she says she’ll keep searching for ways to get the help she needs.

Marshall told me, “I have hope that this will work out. I do, and not that it’s not happening fast enough, but I feel that its not going to happen”

“Right now Marshall is staying in a conference room at the hotel that she works at, but she has no idea when she’ll be able to move into a new home her landlord has provided. She does have a GoFundMe page set up for anyone who wants to donate to get her and three children back on their feet.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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